“I feel like a cracked pot,” my roommate said through tears as she recounted a painful story. I sat on the floor beside her bed at a loss of how to respond.
She knew she’d been created by God for a purpose, but she felt damaged. Unusable. And just plain sad. The title of a book, which I never actually read, popped into my head, and I offered it weakly.
“Well, God uses cracked pots.”
The truth is, we’re all cracked pots.
It’s true that we’ve been created – crafted by God – with care and for a purpose. We were formed to be filled with fellowship with Him.
But sins committed by us and against us have cracked what God created. Fellowship with Him leaked out, and it doesn’t feel good or right.
We feel useless.
We’ve tried to fill up with corrosive contents we were never designed to hold. Contents that promised to make us useful. Sometimes we’ve tried to fill up with willful rebellion. More often, we’ve tried to fill up with lots of good efforts – doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, for the right reasons, in front of the right people – and pride corrodes from the inside out.
Instead of filling us, they’ve weakened the vessel God created and filled it with darkness.
We’re set on a shelf — sometimes by others, sometimes by ourselves. We wobble when the shelf is knocked and teeter on the edge knowing we’re one bump away from shattering.
But God uses cracked pots.
He shines the light of His holiness on that dusty shelf and sees our flaws and fractures. We have broken what He designed. We turn, red-faced, towards the Potter and apologize for the corrosion we’ve invited. We bear all the evidence of use and abuse, and we present to Him our fractured lives and darkness. It’s all we’ve got to offer Him.
He reached toward us and chose the broken pottery. He bought the chipped and leaky earthen ware. He paid dearly for damaged jars of clay.
When we’re drained of all the corrosive self-effort, when all the corrupting rebellion has leaked through our cracks, we’re finally empty and dry.
And we’re finally ready to hold what we were designed for: The Light of Christ.
The God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6
And do you know what He does with cracked pots?
He makes them useful.
Though His light reveals the cracks, it also replaces the darkness. It streams through the gaping holes. Then He sets us on a lampstand called influence and He shines through our broken places to give His light to everyone around.
That is why Peter, a betrayer, can declare that we are God’s special possession. People who have been called out of the darkness and into the light.
That is why Paul, the persecutor, can boast all the more gladly in his weaknesses.
And that is why we, cracked as we are, can let the Light of Christ shine before others so they can praise the God who designed and redeemed cracked pots.